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Still seems like an odd time to be playing hockey

I don't know what the weather is like in your area but around here, it's pretty warm pretty early.

It's 85 today and that's not typical in May in the north country. I quite like it but I know if it's like this nonstop through the end of September there is going to be a whole lot of whining around here. And speaking of whining, what a weird time to still be playing hockey.

I know that the Stanley Cup playoffs have been stretching into June for decades now. It's played some portion of the final series in June since the early 1990s. Not the first time this Gen-Xer looked at some new occurrence from the early '90s with puzzlement (although nothing will ever top Color Me Badd).

When I was in high school, the NHL was done by mid-May. Part of that is because the Islanders were sweeping everyone out in four games, but it seemed in sync with the calendar and the season. It's so hot to be playing hockey in June. It's probably nice for people in Florida, Dallas and Arizona (well, they never get that far, so never mind them) to be able to go inside to feel cool at this time of year, but it won't ever stop being weird. I used to think that they were going to have ice problems when the playoffs first started stretching into June, but I guess they've overcome that.
As odd as I think it is (Go Rangers!), it's never the wrong time to collect hockey cards. I'm not one of those collectors who restricts their collecting to a specific season. I quit doing that the second I could find cards on the internet.

What kind of relationship would that be if Sports Cards From The Dollar Store could send me hockey cards only during the winter? He again sent a bunch of Sabres, who never have to worry about June ice. The last time they did that it was last century.

In 1999, the Sabres played in their last Stanley Cup Final and that was in June (now you know why I didn't say 'Go Stars!'). It's why I always light up when I see cards with the Sabres wearing the goat heads.

Finishing it out with a couple of 1991-92 Pro Set cards. Yeah, I know, just get the whole set. But doing that is about Priority No. 48 in my collecting mission.

Here are a couple of Bills that fit into the collection, just to finish off the Buffalo cold-weather cards.

 But what I'm really about when the temperature gets above 80 -- and really all year -- are baseball cards and Dodger cards (plus a smattering of stickers). These are all needs. The Jackie Robinson card is from a Topps On Demand set called "A Game Within a Game" from a couple of years ago. It's the first time I'm hearing about it.

2024 is apparently the year of Panini book cards for me. I received my first one a couple months ago and now here's No. 2.

That's the inside. Not too thrilling. But at least Kemp balances out the Yasiel Puig one.
I haven't done a very good job of watching hockey this season. I always tell myself to get into it once baseball season ends or, at the very least, once football season ends, and sometimes I do. But usually I don't. I'm sure if the Sabres made the postseason every once in awhile it'd help keep me interested.
But it'd have to be the Sabres to get me to watch hockey regularly in June. There's waaaaaay too much baseball to grab my attention.
(My rooting order for the final four: 1. Rangers, 2. Oilers, 3. Panthers, 4. Stars, and now that that's out the Stars will win).


1984 Tigers said…
There was something special about the 70s and even early 80s with basketball and hockey playoffs beginning in April and ending before Memorial Day. For hockey, thankfully living in Detroit we got to see the Stanley Cup playoffs on CBC on Channel 9 Windsor. I don't think the Big 3 (ABC, NBC, CBS) covered them at all. Same for basketball until the mid 80s when games were shown tape delayed after the 11 PM news. Magic and Bird changed all that.

My favorite hockey card memories were collecting the 76-77 set, with the glossy inserts (one per pack). The Red Wings were affectionately known as the Dead Wings at the time but still drew big crowds. Same year, I enjoyed the huge basketball cards with the big afros (1976 James Silas, anyone).
Fuji said…
I haven't been to a Sharks game in probably over 10 years... which is a shame, because I used to go several times each season. I still wear my Sharks hoodie and jerseys with pride, but gotta admit I haven't followed them closely since before the pandemic. I still collect their cards though... just not on the same level as a few years ago.
Bo said…
Looks like Jackie Robinson is playing with a Jackie Robinson SLU figure.
Matt said…
I had my hopes for the Sabres this year, just didn't happen. Maybe next year they'll break that awful playoff drought...
1984 Tigers said…
The Rangers seemed like a team of destiny watching their comeback this week. Oilers too. It's hard to believe they've only won 1 SC since 1940 - that being Mark Messier and 1994.

I have a brief love affair with the early 90s hockey cards, especially UD with the rookies and also international stars. The fall of the Soviet Union seemed to spark a big surge of talent from formerly communist countries.

Even though my wings haven't been good in years, definitely enjoying these playoffs this year.
GCA said…
I'm with Fuji in that I haven't seen the Capitals play since the weird pandemic season.
And even worse, I haven't really seen the local baseball clubs either since their channel doesn't do streaming.
I'm a great collector but a lousy sports fan...
Jon said…
People that complain about warm weather annoy me to no end. And even more so when you seem and they're carrying around enough insulation for two people.